verb (used with object)
- to touch or press with the lips slightly pursed, and then often to part them and to emit a smacking sound, in an expression of affection, love, greeting, reverence, etc.: He kissed his son on the cheek.
- to join lips with in this way: She kissed him and left.
- to touch gently or lightly: The breeze kissed her face.
- to put, bring, take, etc., by, or as if by, kissing: She kissed the baby’s tears away.
- Billiards, Pool. (of a ball) to make slight contact with or brush (another ball).
verb (used without object)
- to join lips in respect, affection, love, passion, etc.: They kissed passionately.
- to express a thought, feeling, etc., by a contact of the lips: They kissed goodbye at the station.
- to purse and then part the lips, emitting a smacking sound, as in kissing someone.
- Billiards, Pool. (of a ball) to carom gently off or touch another ball.
- an act or instance of kissing.
- a slight touch or contact.
- Billiards, Pool. the slight touch of one ball by another.
- a baked confection of egg whites and confectioners’ sugar, served as a cookie.
- a piece of toffeelike confectionery, sometimes containing nuts, coconut, or the like.
- a small, sometimes conical, bite-size piece of chocolate, usually individually wrapped.
- kiss off, Slang.
- to reject, dismiss, or ignore: He kissed off their objections with a wave of his hand.
- (used to express contemptuous rejection or dismissal).
- to give up, renounce, or dispense with: Leaving Tulsa meant kissing off a promising job.
- blow/throw a kiss, to indicate an intended kiss from a distance, usually in bidding farewell, by kissing one’s own fingertips and moving the hand toward the person greeted.
- kiss ass, Slang: Vulgar. to be obsequious; fawn.
- keep it simple, stupid: the principle that a product, service, system, etc., should be easy to learn and use.
- (tr) to touch with the lips or press the lips against as an expression of love, greeting, respect, etc
- (intr) to join lips with another person in an act of love or desire
- to touch (each other) lightlytheir hands kissed
- billiards (of balls) to touch (each other) lightly while moving
- the act of kissing; a caress with the lipsRelated adjective: oscular
- a light touch
- a small light sweet or cake, such as one made chiefly of egg white and sugarcoffee kisses
- keep it simple, stupid
Old English cyssan “to kiss,” from Proto-Germanic *kussijanan (cf. Old Saxon kussian, Old Norse kyssa, Old Frisian kessa, Middle Dutch cussen, Dutch, Old High German kussen, German küssen, Norwegian and Danish kysse, Swedish kyssa), from *kuss-, probably ultimately imitative of the sound. Related: Kissed; kissing. For vowel evolution, see bury. There appears to be no common Indo-European root word for “kiss,” though suggestions of a common ku- sound may be found in the Germanic root and Greek kynein “to kiss,” Hittite kuwash-anzi “they kiss,” Sanskrit cumbati “he kisses.”
Kissing, as an expression of affection or love, is unknown among many races, and in the history of mankind seems to be a late substitute for the more primitive rubbing of noses, sniffing, and licking. [Buck, p.1113]
Some languages make a distinction between the kiss of affection and that of erotic love (cf. Latin saviari “erotic kiss,” vs. osculum, literally “little mouth”). French embrasser “kiss,” but literally “embrace,” came about in 17c. when the older word baiser (from Latin basiare) acquired an obscene connotation. Insulting invitation kiss my ass is at least from 1705, but probably much older (cf. “The Miller’s Tale”).
Old English coss; see kiss (v.). It became Middle English cuss, but this yielded to kiss, from the verb. Kiss of death in figurative sense “thing that signifies impending failure” is from 1944 (Billboard, Oct. 21), ultimately in reference to Judas’s kiss in Gethsemane (Matt. xxvi:48-50). The kiss of peace was, in Old English, sibbecoss (for first element, see sibling).